Open Your Heart. (Draco/Oc) (potassiumboron/Severu

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  1. Atropa Malfoy stood on the balcony connected to the bedroom. The air was cold and filled with moisture, and she could see the dew drops on the grass below.
    It was still very early, much too early for her to be awake, but as usual, she couldn't sleep.
    She often found herself restless lately, tossing and turning all night, eventually giving up when daylight began to show through the curtains.
    Draco had to work, as did she, but she could deal without sleeping. He couldn't, so she would get out of bed and let him rest without her disturbing him.

    Wrapping her arms around herself, Atropa shivered in the cold air. She could get sick, standing out in the cold like this- wearing nothing but her white lace nightgown, barefoot, no cover on her arms.
    Even so, she didn't feel like going back inside yet.
    It had been nearly a year since she'd lost the baby, but even now she felt guilty.

    No one could have known it would happen, of course, but somehow she felt it was her fault.
    She'd been scared to have children, unsure of whether or not she could be a good mother, seeing as her own was so terrible.
    Maybe her negative thoughts had somehow made her miscarry. She could never know for sure.
    Sighing, Atropa turned and went back into the bedroom, shutting the window doors softly.

    Draco was still asleep, and she suddenly had the urge to hold him. Atropa got back into bed gently and snuggled up against his back, putting an arm over his side, just laying with him, breathing him in.
    He was so different now than he'd been in school, and she always felt like the luckiest woman when she was with him.
    As of late, she'd begun to suspect that he'd found another woman's arms to lay with, probably at work. But she hadn't confronted him yet.
    How could she deny him a small pleasure, when she herself could barely look at him? She'd been the one to put distance between them, and though she wanted to close the distance, she wasn't sure how.
    All she knew was that she loved him.
    #1 Artificial Sugar, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 29, 2016
  2. While the fair-haired man appeared deep in sleep at the moment, what was unknown was the fact that, most nights, Draco Malfoy remained restless, just as so as his wife. Restlessness was a growing problem for him, brought up mostly from his own guilt. Every time he found solace in Karina's arms, every single time he went to her for comfort, he always thought about his wife afterwards, and what she had gone through with the miscarriage.

    It would have torn her apart, and the effects were evident still a year on. He saw her loss of weight, and the visible effects of depression, and knew he ought to be a more supportive husband... but he was selfish. He knew that too. He knew he wanted to be comforted, as well as to comfort, and if the former wasn't achieved, he wasn't going to go out of his way to achieve the latter.

    Hence the constant, continual affair he was committing with their former school pupil.

    With those blue eyes finally taking to open at the sudden hug he was enveloped into, the man -whose only notable difference from his time at Hogwarts being his taller height and slight broadening of the shoulders- turning in bed to face his wife. Not exactly the best in the mornings, usually not until he had had his coffee, Draco did and said nothing but wrap his arms around her. Despite his ongoing affair, he still did try intimacy, to engage with her again on a romantic, emotional level... but losing a child had undoubtedly affected that. He had never dreamt of being a father. To him, if it happened, it happened, but only when it was torn so cruelly from him did he realise the aching feeling he had to be one. But he couldn't go and ask her to try again. A year was still so bitterly soon, and he wasn't too sure she would even agree to it anyway.

    "You look awful," his soft voice murmured, lips pursing to that scowl he was infamous for, though this was one of worry rather than annoyance. Brushing her dark locks from her forehead, he planted a kiss on it for her, albeit with some rigidity preventing true intimacy. "You haven't slept, have you? What the hell have I told you about that? You need sleep. It's important. You don't want the brats you teach making fun of you, do you?"
  3. Atropa was surprised when Draco wrapped his arms around her. Most mornings, he slept on, or pretended to sleep, while she cuddled with him.
    She found that it was the easiest way to be close to him, with no judgements, and nothing in return.
    Despite not wanting to be close to him when he was awake, she was surprised to feel happiness when he wrapped his arms around her, making her feel warm.

    His words made her warmth disappear though, and she felt herself shrinking away from him, pushing her feelings deep down as always.
    "I'm fine.. I slept for a while." She muttered, looking away from him.
    The children in her classes didn't make fun of her, or hate her as they had Professor Snape. She was a well liked teacher, despite her marriage to Draco and her old house at Hogwarts.
    "The children love me, Draco." She whispered to him, fighting back the tears she could feel bubbling in her eyes.

    Crying was something Atropa hated doing, and only did it in private, if she could help it.
    Taking a deep breath, she pushed them away, closing her eyes tightly.
    "I was thinking of making some breakfast." She told him, looking into his eyes for a moment. She hated looking into his eyes- she could see everything she worried about in them.
    He loved her still, she knew, but she could see the guilt in them as well. She knew he was sleeping with someone else. Atropa could just feel it.

    Even so, she hadn't accused him out loud, yet. She didn't want to take that away from him. It was his own source of comfort, and she felt that she had no right to take it from him.

    Neville always arrived early at work. At least an hour, though sometimes if he was feeling tired, half an hour would work, as well. He'd arrived two hours early once or twice, when he was feeling extra productive, but that wasn't often.
    Even so, he was usually the first to arrive, and the last to leave, always going above and beyond what was expected of him.
    No one had believed that he would get a job in the Ministry of Magic- but yet, here he was. He'd been working here for the past few years, and he was surprised to see that he was actually quite good at his job.
    Mostly, Neville had been a horrible student at Hogwarts, only doing well in Herbology, since he always seemed to mess things up with his clumsiness.

    Now, as an adult, Neville had found himself much less clumsy, and a lot more confident. Though still shy around women, in most other parts of his life, he functioned like any other well rounded adult.
    He was proud of himself, even though he'd never say it out loud. It had been a hard road to get where he was, and he had done it all by himself, with no help.
    That alone was a huge achievement for him.

    Smiling as he hummed a tune he'd heard somewhere, Neville took a drink of his coffee. It was something that Muggles often drank in the mornings, and Neville had come to enjoy it quite a bit.
    He'd eaten breakfast already, but he always brought his coffee with him to work.
    His favorite flavor was one called Hazelnut, and he always like it piping hot. Especially when it was cold outside.

    He'd taken his seat at his desk, which overnight had been piled high with new files to work on- something he looked forward to every morning.
    Smiling, Neville took another drink of his coffee before opening the first one, happy to start the day.
  4. "The children love you?" He muttered, having a hard time believing that. After the Malfoy name had been dragged through the mud after his father's affiliation with Lord Voldemort, Draco especially had had a hard time reinstating himself in society, and as his wife, it was only obvious Atropa would suffer alongside him.

    Saying that, however, she had stuck by him through thick and thin, and for that, Draco was eternally grateful. He couldn't express that entirely -it wasn't his forte-, but he would always feel that for her, regardless of what he was doing. His affair, in simple terms. But his excuse for it would be the stress, and the lack of affection and intimacy. He wasn't the best at initiating it, and in rare times like this that he tried, his wife would shrink back for whatever reason, and for him, it did just tend to make him irritated.

    "I have to get to work. You should get a move on," came his cold mutter. Not mean, in truth, but full of exhaustion and a sense of having given up for the morning. "If I'm lucky, I can get in before the crowds start. I can't stand crowds. Everyone's so close together, and ugh... Makes me feel dirty, you know? I don't close if I can help it-- wait, breakfast? Oh. No. I'll get something in work," he mumbled, strategically avoiding her eyes as he moved out of bed and swiftly moved to the grand wardrobe. "Karina brings in home cooked muffins sometimes, and they're pretty good..."


    "Neville? Why are you in so early?" A sudden voice broke the silence the man was taking in, the happy expression belonging to Karina suddenly appearing as the girl wandered into the department, multitasking as usual between holding a pile of files under her left arm, and attempting to fix her plaited hair with her spare hand.

    She wasn't a total klutz, but she usually had a natural clumsiness to her. Nothing too major, but bursting into the department and appearing busy was a common site. Whilst most couldn't understand it, she knew that Neville out of everyone would be able to relate. Karina had always liked Neville. He was sweet, kind, and had shown bravery when least expected of him.

    And if she was honest, he had grown rather handsome in recent years. Though she couldn't exactly let herself feel that - she was in an affair with Draco, and she had always primarily liked Draco, so adding an innocent Neville into the equation would only cause unnecessary harm.

    Setting a box of her home cooked muffins down, the smell already wafting around the department, she dragged across a seat to sit beside him at his desk, adding a little perfume before finally being able to let out a loud exhale of breath. "Gosh, I need to start exercising, honestly-- do you work out? You could, like, help me focus and stuff. I'm so out of shape, Nev, it's ridiculous."
  5. It was obvious by the tone in his voice that Draco didn't believe her. The thought stung a little, but Atropa pushed it aside.
    They weren't seeing eye to eye lately, and it seemed like everything that came out of their mouths was hurtful, or meant to be, at least.
    But Atropa was tired of feeling that way. So she ignored his words, instead focusing on her own day ahead.
    Draco was occupied by his own day of work, and some girl he mentioned...

    "Who's Karina?" Atropa asked, heart speeding up inside her chest. She'd never heard the name mentioned before, and Draco didn't usually name people he worked with, unless they were important.
    This.. This woman was probably the one Draco was having an affair with. Even though she'd convinced herself she was okay with it, Atropa could feel her heart crumbling.

    She was not okay with it. She never would be.


    Neville jumped a little when someone spoke- he'd been so into his work, he hadn't realized that anyone else was around.
    "Oh, Karina! Hi!" He called out, voice wobbling. He was always nervous around women, but more so around pretty women, which Karina definitely was.

    "I usually come in early! I enjoy the quiet, plus, I like to get some extra work done." He told her, smiling.
    Neville had always liked Karina, even though she seemed to be having some type of thing going on with Draco Malfoy. Neville wasn't one of his fans, particularly, especially seeing as he was married to a really sweet woman, who he was cheating on.

    Noticing the muffins, Neville grinned. "Your homemade muffins are always so good." He told her, setting down the file he'd been working on.
    At her comment about working out, Neville chuckled.
    "I think you look great!" He said, blushing furiously once he realized exactly what he'd just said.

    "Bu-But, uh, yeah, sure, I could help. I work out every day." Neville said, voice squeaking. It wasn't true- he didn't work out every day.. Maybe twice a week, if he was lucky.
  6. Finally realising he had let a name slip, a name he never had mentioned before around her, he did tense for a good few moments to try and bring together a good enough reason for mentioning her, taking his time in adjusting his work outfit before peering back at the other with a smile. "Karina? Oh, she's just a girl who works with me, that's it. She happens to bring in muffins sometimes-- she went to Hogwarts. She wasn't in Slytherin, so... I doubt you know her. It's not that big a deal, honestly."

    Finally exhaling once managing to turn his back and run a comb through his hair, his smile faded at just how close he had been. If he was honest, he was blissfully unaware that his wife knew something was going on, that in itself proving how detached they were lately as a couple. Nevertheless, he leant to peck her forehead before reaching for his work files. "I'll be home late tonight, got some extra catching up to do, so don't wait up," he smile calmly, refusing to let the truth of it come out - the fact he planned to go over Karina's that night, even if Atropa could probably work out why he would be coming home late.


    "Oh, don't flatter me, Neville," she laughed, pulling her hair from her face using a clip as she pushed the box towards him - even in spite of their talk of working out, she didn't seem to recognise that her homemade cakes were hardly going to help her get fitter if that was what she aimed to do.

    "I'm so out of shape, and you're in shape," she grinned quietly, helping to tidy the files she had absently tipped over from their neat stock. "So if you don't mind, you could help me. The steps up here always kill me, haha-- maybe we can tomorrow? I'm busy tonight with a friend, but I'm free tomorrow? It'll be nice! I haven't hung out with you outside work since Maria's party last month. It's sad. You know I love you," she said affectionately, her friendly demeanour masking what was genuine care and a slight developing crush.

    Though she had to remind herself of Draco, and that her thing with him was preventing her from dating anyone genuine and kind like Neville.
  7. Draco thought he was so smart, pushing everything aside like that. Atropa knew better, though.
    His excuse was ridiculous, and hurried, too simple. Plus, he tried to convince her that the girl meant nothing.
    Red flags everywhere. Alarms going off in her head, Atropa crossed her arms, watching Draco turn to leave.
    Working late? Hardly.

    "But I really need you home tonight. I had a whole night planned out." Atropa said, quietly, voice sad.
    It was a lie, but it might convince him to come home, where he belonged.
    Atropa couldn't let him continue- it hurt too much, now that she knew her name.


    Neville smiled and took one of the muffins, biting into it gently.
    "I'm just being honest." He told her, swallowing. Her muffins were always so delicious, Neville had to hold himself back to keep from grabbing another one.

    Busy, with a friend. Sure. Of course she would be seeing Draco.
    "Um, sure, maybe. I'll have to see if I have the time." Neville replied, picking up the file again.

    He didn't really want to be part of the whole love triangle thing that was going on.
  8. "And what exactly did you have planned?" He asked softly, though in a 'not-really-listening' sort of way, the fact he was staring at his reflection, and flicking his wand to open the dark-lidded curtains up and allow some light into the room, only really peering back at her once he had done that. "Look, I can't really push aside work, Atropa. Do you want me to end up as a nobody again? Do you know how humiliating it was for me after that battle? After my credibility was ripped apart? I'm in work again, and I'm so sorry if I want to make a success of it."

    He paused. He realised that he was being sharp with her, being bitter, but it was a defence mechanism, to stop her growing close to the truth, that of which she was already well aware of. "Atropa," he started with sudden regret, biting on his lip. "We can do what you wanted to do tonight, tomorrow. I'll make sure to get home early just for you tomorrow. But tonight, I need to work. Now quit frowning and get changed, or you'll be late."


    The half-hearted response wasn't one she liked, or was used to from someone she always saw as sweet. In fact, it did make her hesitate and have to pause for a good few seconds, easing back from him to collect herself. What was that in aid of? She had hoped he would be a little eager to spend time with her outside of work, but if he wasn't, then it would at least keep them at a distance and protect him getting hurt.

    Though Karina was a little selfish. She liked Neville, and couldn't exactly disguise her hurt at his seemingly lack of energy.

    "Don't you want to hang out?" She murmured softly, eyebrows pulled into an expression of hurt and confusion. "I mean, we're friends, aren't we? I don't have that many friends, Nev. You know, people think I'm just a workaholic, and I do like to do fun stuff, but hey, whatever. I'll just hang out with Malfoy," she shrugged casually, peering at a piece of paper with some names scribbled on, realising it to be one of the newest cases in the department. "Draco's at least a guy who admits he thinks I'm fun."
  9. Draco's reply was cold, distant, and bitter. She knew he was pushing her away, and she wanted to pull him back, more than anything.
    "Nevermind." She replied, voice just as cold as his. She could play this game, too. She would be just as cold.

    Turning away from him, she made her way to the kitchen, where she pulled out the things to made a salad for her lunch.
    She wasn't up to eating much, nowadays.

    "I don't need you to get off early tomorrow, either. I forgot, I have plans."

    With that, she turned and went back upstairs to take her shower, not really caring if she was late to work. Today was not a good day.


    Neville could see the hurt on her face, and he instantly felt bad. Even so, he didn't know what to do.
    Sighing, Neville ran a hand through his hair, putting the file aside again.
    "I do want to hang out with you." He told her, finishing off his coffee.

    When Draco was mentioned, though, Neville scowled.
    "Draco has a wife, you know. Doesn't he ever go home to her?" He asked, voice dripping with bitterness.

    He despised Draco in school, and even more so now, that he was cheating on his perfectly sweet wife.
  10. Staring after his wife awkwardly, he did consider just heading after her and skipping the day off work, spending the hours with her and making sure to treat her as she deserved. Heck, she was hardly in a good way, and even Draco noticed that.

    Yet despite having good intentions, he still held a great deal of bitterness towards her - being given no affection throughout most the months, and because of it, didn't want to lose the only form of love he was given by Karina, however selfish and cruel it was to the one person that had always cared for him.

    With that in mind, he made sure to cuss under his breath to release some built up anger before heading out of the home and towards work. He knew Karina would be early, she mostly always was, so he hoped to at least spend some time with her before the working day started, regardless of who else was there.

    He was in one of those moods where he didn't care to disguise how much he liked the girl.


    "Of course I know he has a wife, Neville. They're been together since we were in school," she mumbled, releasing how awkward she felt at the topic of Draco's wife, though did manage to hide that behind another warming smile. "Draco can have friends outside of his wife. I mean, he's allowed to hang out with people, Neville."

    She sighed, finding it hard to contain her bitterness at the moment, through desperation to keep her affair on the down low, and the fact Neville of all people seemed so... bitter himself was something she disliked greatly. As such, she did find it hard to remain sweet about it.

    "You don't understand relationships, Neville. Maybe if you ever had one you'd realise that people don't have to be stuck to one another like glue, and can still have lives. So quit acting like you know, because you really aren't an expert on this topic, alright?" She muttered, biting her lips hard as she swiped the box of cakes and quickly made an exit to her desk... though it was hardly dramatic given her own work desk was position directly in front of Neville's.
  11. Atropa heard the front door shut, and she sighed in relief. It felt like all the tension had left the house, which wasn't exactly something good, when you were speaking about your husband leaving.
    Tears sprang to her eyes as she got in the shower, and she sunk down to the bottom of the tub, letting the water wash over her, curled in a ball.

    Her sobs sounded loud, echoing against the porcelain, but there was no one around to hear them, so Atropa didn't try to quiet them.
    Skin and bones, that's what she was now. She'd lost so much weight over the past few months that it seemed all her bones were dying to get out of her skin.
    All her clothes hung on her loosely, but she didn't know how to fix it anymore.
    She felt broken, and empty, tired of trying only to be pushed away.

    When she finally quit crying, Atropa took her shower- though the water was barely warm now- and then got out, doing a quick spell to dry her hair before dressing in a large t-shirt and some shorts, deciding she didn't feel like going to work today.
    Draco made plenty of money for them- why did she have to work, anyway?

    Writing a quick letter to the school, Atropa crawled back into the bed, putting pillows behind her back, pretending it was Draco in bed next to her.
    She thought she had no tears left, but she began to cry again, and soon, she fell asleep to the sound of her own tears.


    Neville sighed. Karina was trying to hide her feelings with a smile, and a happy tone, but he knew better. Her words were anything but happy, and definitely unkind.
    "Friends, yes. But you two seem a bit more than friendly." He replied, voice quiet.

    It wasn't really his place to say this, but he felt he ought to. If he didn't, who would stick up for Atropa?

    Neville was sure that no one else had noticed the small glances or smiles exchanged between Karina and Draco, but he had.
    He also noticed that the two of them spent time together after work, often leaving together, standing awfully close.
    But of course, why would they have to hide it? As if Atropa would ever show up at his work.

    At Karina's next words, Neville scowled, drawing his eyebrows together.
    "Excuse me?" He said, voice cold. He didn't get angry often, but when he did, he found it hard to keep quiet.

    "Believe it or not, Karina, I've actually had quite a few girlfriends since school ended. Of course, if you actually took time to notice anything besides your own reflection, or Draco's lips, maybe you'd have noticed that."
    He stood, throwing the rest of the muffin away, glaring at her.
    "I realize that people have lives outside of their relationship, but you two seem a bit too cozy to be just friends. I'm sure Atropa already suspects something. You know.. He'll never leave her for you."

    And then he was gone, walking down the hall, deciding he needed to leave for a while.
    His rage filled his chest with fire, and he didn't want to say anything else.

    On his way out, he spotted Draco entering, and he glared at him, making sure to bump into him as he walked past.

  12. Draco, all the way to the Ministry, did have to hide his emotions behind a well constructed and well executed mask; a facade he often used to hide just how he felt. As a teenager, he had often snivelled and been unable to hide upset very well, but as an adult, he had learnt a little about the ways of masking how he felt.

    It was that reason that had enabled his and Atropa's relationship to dwindle like this - hiding his emotions meant nothing ever really got sorted between them, particularly after the miscarriage, and had him sought after Karina, a girl he had often found himself glancing at anyway.

    With his mind fully on Atropa at the moment, however, it took one nudge from Neville to cause him to break out of his contemplative state, a sneer crossing his face in absolute disgust. He may be out of school now, and an adult, but that didn't mean he was completely different. He was still Draco Malfoy - in short, he was still in hold of a superiority complex.

    "Watch it, Longbottom," he spat automatically, dusting himself off from the nudge with a far from happy scowl, only really stopping once noticing Karina inside the department, hunched up in her chair and with a soft sniffle she tried to muffle with her scarf. And there was really only one culprit he could see, turning on his heel viciously to glare after the other man. "Oi, Longbottom, what have you done to her? Don't think you can go around upsetting people who are nice to you. You struggle already on the friend-situation, don't you? You're a snivelling creep, Longbottom, with a face only your grandmother could have love. I would say parents, but we all know that your parents never really were around," he finished cruelly, straightening up after his speech with a quiet smirk to himself - he had missed belittling people like this.​
    #12 potassiumboron, Jun 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  13. Neville really wasn't in the mood to deal with Malfoy today. He'd never been in the mood to deal with him, really.
    Only difference now was that he wasn't afraid of him.
    Turning to look at Malfoy, Neville sighed. Why did this have to happen?
    He'd been having a perfectly good day, until this.

    "I just let her know that I don't think your relationship is right. You have a wife, Malfoy. But yet here you are, sleeping around on her, with Karina. And she knows you have a wife, but she does it anyway!"
    Neville didn't care if the whole department heard him. Maybe it was for the best.

    With that, he turned away, yet again, and began to walk away, hoping that this would be the end of things.
    He didn't want to cause anymore drama in the department right now.
    He was most likely fired anyway.

  14. "Since when did you get so brave, Longbottom? When you realised that being a creepy loser was growing old?" He taunted angrily, mostly spurred on by the fact Neville was announcing something he had tried to keep a secret so openly and for anyone that walked in to hear. And in desperation, reached for his wand, holding it close before pushing it up against Neville's neck once managing to push the other man back and against the wall.

    Of course, even if she was mad and pretty upset too, Karina came rushing to try and stop what was happening. She knew Draco enough to realise his temper got the best of him - but he always misjudged who he picked fights with. Hell, the time Hermione Granger had punched him had spread like wildfire back in school, and if Neville decided to simply repeat Hermione's actions here, Karina knew Draco wouldn't be able to live the embarrassment down. He saw himself in a different league to Neville, and to be put down by him wouldn't help his confidence. "Come on, Draco. Leave him be, okay? He... He hasn't done anything wrong, I mean..."

    "He's talking like a madman," Draco snapped, his eyes furious as he pressed the wand into the skin harder. "Don't speak to me like you're better than me, Longbottom. Now is not the time to grow a backbone."​
  15. Seeing Draco get so angry made Neville almost smile.
    He'd hit a nerve, obviously. It was true, for sure, he knew that now.
    No doubts in his mind what was going on between Karina and Draco.
    And then he was up against a wall, wand to his neck, with Karina begging Draco to let it go.
    "Go on, Malfoy. Do it." Neville spat out, disgust etched in his features.

    He would never understand how Draco had married such a nice woman, when he was obviously still trash himself.
    It was just like back at Hogwarts, only now, Neville could beat Malfoy up, if he wanted to.
    But luckily for him, he didn't feel like it today. No reason to get violent.

    "But that's what you don't understand, Malfoy." Neville whispered, a grin on his face.
    "I am better than you. I always have been."

    He knew that Malfoy would never see it this way, but to himself and everyone else, it was obvious.
    "You've never been anything but a bully. Trash. You think so highly of yourself, but look where you are!"
    Neville laughed, it sounded harsh, angry.
    "You're no better than anyone, anymore, Malfoy."
  16. Hesitance crossed the blonde's features as he took in Neville's confidence; his cockiness, and to Draco, it was like a red rag to a bull. The other's words did cut deep, reminding Draco of the fall his family had suffered, the response the name 'Malfoy' received even still in the present.

    And Neville Longbottom of all people held the ability to make Draco's face crumple - Karina knew that would happen eventually. Draco wasn't as tough as he made out to be. He often bigged himself up, relied too much on his family's name to get him through situations and to seem above other people, but seemingly, it wasn't going to play out anymore.

    And yet, despite the growing anger, it wasn't Draco that reacted the worst. Instead, Karina angrily whipped her own wand out, the pretty woman's features contorted into anger as she aimed her own wand at Neville, only to lower it to his legs and muttered a menial spell to send nothing but a bolt of white out, intending to cause mild discomfort, like something of a rash, before moving to grab Draco's arm to pull him away. "Just piss off, Neville," she grunted, glaring back at the man she had always thought a friend. "You should be grateful I didn't do something worse."​
  17. Neville watched as his words hit their target.
    Malfoy's face went from angry to sad in an instant, and Neville was the one who'd caused it.
    He'd never had believed that he would have that much power.
    And even though he didn't want to admit it, it felt good, to finally put Draco where he belonged.
    He'd never been told to his face how much of a bully he was, and now that he had, he couldn't handle it.

    Of course, then Karina had to go and pull a stupid stunt of her own, to prove her loyalty to Draco.
    When would she learn?

    "As if you could, Karina." Neville called after her, turning away.
    He didn't want to fight with her- but she'd chosen Malfoy's side, so it looked as though that's how things would be now.
    Neville thought for a moment, briefly, that he ought to send a letter to Atropa.
    But deciding that it wasn't his place, he just took a seat to calm down.
    He couldn't leave work, after all.

  18. "Don't push me, loser," she mumbled, taking Draco's words mostly out of habit if anything, as she carefully led the man to the store cupboard, full of stacks of paper and whatnot, as well as bags of food for the owls kept in the department. It was the best known place to go in the department for alone time, to de-stress and to get some peace, and while that was the main aim, to get Draco to calm down, it also mostly doubled as the place the two tended to make out, and had often ventured further than that when assured nobody would interrupt them, obliviously of course.

    Only Neville really knew about what was going on between them now, out of those who worked in the department, and the fact he could just spill the beans at any moment did make Draco (regretfully, when he thought back to it later on) tear up and have to rest into Karina for comfort, and to muffle small sniffles from making themselves known.​
  19. Loser.
    That was the typical insult for Neville.
    Yet no one actually knew anything about his life after Hogwarts.
    He'd gotten a nice job, he had his own house, he'd had a few long term girlfriends, and he, overall, felt very successful.
    He wasn't a loser anymore, and he hated when people still thought of him as such.

    Karina and Draco had left, to do God knew what, so Neville had his own time to calm down.
    He sat alone for a while, taking deep breaths, and reminding himself that this wasn't worth losing his job.

    When he felt calm enough, he made his way back to is desk, and began going through files again, silently.
    He was much calmer now, but even so, he felt irritated. He didn't want to sit here and go through files.
    He wanted to be up, doing something.
    But that would have to wait until lunch time.

  20. Eventually, half an hour or so later, just as everyone else in the office finally began to trail in for work, Karina quietly headed to her seat, looking as calm as ever and managing to smile brightly and chatter along with a few of her colleagues who stopped at her desk to talk to her. She was the social butterfly in the place, the person always invited to little gatherings and whatnot... though she seldom agreed to go.

    Most of her time was spend alone in her apartment. As much as it appeared she was stuck to Draco like glue, they didn't spend every night together, and she herself didn't want that. She enjoyed her own company, despite the fact she was someone who people automatically felt happy to chat to and to be around.

    Yet, that smile disappeared the moment the woman at her desk, the gossiper of the department, mentioned Neville. It was an ongoing tease that Karina really should date Neville. The girl often complained about not having a boyfriend -mostly to keep people off the trail of her and Draco- but she hadn't intended for anyone to really pay attention. And now, they mounted pressure on her to ask him out, and currently, she reacted coldly, enough for the woman to go off and start gossiping about the tension between Karina and the man seated at the desk behind her.

    While she wanted no contact with him, the girl eventually turned with a small frown. "Neville, I need last month's figures for that accident in Diagon Alley. The boss wants me to write them up, so... hand them over, please."​
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